Monthly Archives: August 2012


Carey says: Today I am delighted to have the awesome DP Lyle back with us on Kiss and Thrill. Doug is here to tell us all about his latest thriller, RUN TO GROUND, which released August 7th to high acclaim. One lucky commenter will win a copy of RUN TO GROUND. Here is a sample of what people are saying:

“Run To Ground boasts an intriguing premise, memorable and engaging characters, and the kind of technical gems that make Doug Lyle’s non-fiction forensics books such essential reading. Crisp, page-turning prose, nicely witty banter, and some genuine surprises.” ~Zo’ Sharp, author of the best-selling Charlie Fox crime thriller series

“A first-rate thriller! Run to Ground delivers the goods: great characters, fine investigative details and the kind of nail-biting action that leaves you rapidly flipping the pages, breathless to discover what will happen next!”~Lisa Gardner, New York Times best-selling author of Catch Me

“Murder is never as simple as the motive. There are too many loose ends, and when Dub Walker uses his expert knowledge of forensics and criminal behavior to solve the crime, you’d better be ready to Run To Ground. Doug Lyle takes fear and revenge, adds a bucket of greed, and gives us a wild ride to the finish!”~David Morrell, New York Times best-selling author of The Shimmer

After reading EVEN STEVEN, Lyle’s contribution to the LOVE IS MURDER anthology, I’m really looking forward to reading RUN TO GROUND. I’m also really happy to know I am not the only one who wonders whether or not the couple sitting across from me having coffee is plotting murder 🙂 Read on to see what I mean:

DP Lyle says: 

Where do you get your story ideas?

Every author has been asked that question.

The short answer is: Everywhere.

That might sound trite, but it’s the truth. Something you see or read or overhear sparks an idea. It could be a conversation or a couple arguing at a nearby restaurant table or an odd character you see on the street or simply an idea that pops into your head. One of those out-of-the-blue images or scenarios or bits of dialog that seem to come when daydreaming, or sleeping, or mindlessly driving down the road.

From this seed an idea blossoms. One that raises the question: What if? What if this happened? What if that person did this? What if that couple enjoying their morning coffee was actually planning a murder? What if that briefcase contained state secrets? Or an explosive device? Or a deadly virus?

The answer to that two word question–What if?–is where stories are born.

What if a good, God-fearing couple is threatened by the man that killed their only son, forcing them to plan the man’s murder and their own disappearance?

That’s the question that drove my short story, “EVEN STEVEN,” which can be found in the latest International Thriller Writer’s anthology THRILLER 3: LOVE IS MURDER

But the “story” didn’t stop there.

After this story was completed I sent it to my older sister, a retired school teacher and accomplished storyteller herself. She read it and then asked me: What happens next? My response: What do you want to happen next? She laughed saying she wanted to make sure that I intended for it to have an ambiguous ending. I did.

Then over the next few weeks I asked myself: What does happen next? Where could this story go from here? What are the possible avenues these characters could travel. These musings of course generated another What If?

What if a forensic evidence and criminal behavior expert must track down a seemingly average, very religious couple who murdered the killer of their only child, dumped their entire lives, and disappeared?

That’s the central story question of my next Dub Walker thriller, RUN TO GROUND, now available from Oceanview.

What would you do if someone brutally murdered your only child, got off on a technicality, serving only months for a minor infraction, and continually taunted and threatened you from behind bars? Could you hide your growing rage from family and friends? Could you gun the killer down? Could you change your ID and leave behind your entire life—family, friends, jobs, home—and disappear.

For Tim and Martha Foster the answer to each of these questions is yes.

This is the scenario that faces Dub Walker in RUN TO GROUND.


“I can still smell him.” Martha Foster inhaled deeply and closed her eyes.

Tim stood just inside the doorway and looked down at his wife. She sat on the edge of their son’s bed, eyes moist, chin trembling, as were the fingers that clutched the navy-blue Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt to her chest. It had been Steven’s favorite. He had slept in it every night the first month, until Martha finally pried it away long enough to run it through the wash.

Behind her, a dozen photos of Steven lay scattered across the blue comforter. A proud Steven in his first baseball uniform. A seven-year-old Steven, grinning, upper left front tooth missing, soft freckles over his nose, buzz-cut hair, a blue swimming ribbon dangling around his neck. A playful Steven, sitting next to Martha at the backyard picnic table, face screwed into a goofy expression, smoke from the Weber BBQ rising behind them. Tim remembered the day he snapped the picture. Labor Day weekend. Just six months before that day. He squeezed back his own tears and swallowed hard.

Martha shifted her weight and twisted toward the photos. She laid the sweatshirt aside and reached out, lightly touching an image of Steven’s face. The trembling of her delicate fingers increased. She said nothing for a moment and then, “I’m taking these.”

Tim walked to where she sat and pulled her to him, her cheek nestling against his chest, her tears soaking through his tee shirt. He kissed the top of her head.

“He’s gone,” Martha said. “Everything’s gone. Or will be.”

Tim smoothed her hair as details from a room frozen in time raced toward him. A Derek Jeter poster, a photo of Steven’s Little League team, and his Student-of-the-Month certificate hung on the wall above his small desk. A crooked-neck lamp spotlighted a history text, opened to the stern face of Thomas Jefferson. His baseball uniform draped over the chair back, sneakers haphazard on the floor. Exactly as it had been the day their lives jumped the track.

They had been through this dozens of times. What they could safely take. What must be abandoned. What could be traced back here. They had scrutinized everything they owned. Their marriage license, birth certificates, engraved wedding bands, the calligraphed family tree Martha had painstakingly drawn and framed, and boxes of family keepsakes. Any photo that showed their home, cars, neighbors, family, Steven’s friends, teammates, or school, had to be abandoned. As did Steven’s Little League uniform. Each of these could undo everything if seen by a curious eye.

Tim had always won these what-to-take-what-to-leave arguments, but now, with the end so close, he knew he could no longer resist her.

“It’s okay,” he said.

“Thirty-six hours.” She eased from his embrace, looked up at him, and swiped the back of her hand across her nose. “I can’t believe it’s here.”

“We can back out. Stay and risk it.”

She shook her head. “No. We can’t. Not with him around.”

“He might’ve just been blowing off steam.”

“You don’t believe that.”

No, he didn’t. He knew better.

“Besides, that’s just part of it. We can’t let that animal…” She screwed her face down tightly, suppressing another sob.

Tim touched her cheek, catching a stray tear with his thumb. “It’ll be okay. Keep the pictures.” He walked to Steven’s desk, lifted the uniform from the back of the chair, and returned to her side. “The uniform, too.”

“His uniform?” She took it from him as a sob escaped her throat. “He was so proud of it.” She swallowed hard, and then dabbed her eyes with her shirtsleeve. Her voice broke as she asked, “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“But nothing else. Nothing that leads back here. This life is over. Finished. Tomorrow night Tim and Martha Foster no longer exist. But Robert Beckwith and Cindy Strunk will get a chance to live yet again.”

She shook her head, uncertainty lingering in her eyes. “What if they find out Robert and Cindy have been dead for a couple of decades?”

“Not likely.”


“It’ll work. We’re not the first to rummage through old obituaries and cemeteries. Lot’s of people have done it before us.”

“Most get caught.”

“Only the ones you hear about. Most just move on. Become someone else.”

“Let’s hope.”

He brushed a wayward strand of hair from her face and lifted her chin with a finger. “You’ll make a perfect Cindy.”

She smiled, weak and tentative, her face tear streaked, her nose reddened, but it was still a smile. There hadn’t been many of those lately.

“It’s not like we have another option,” Tim said. “We can’t simply move. We have to disappear. Become completely untraceable. Be reborn.”

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “It will be like dying.”

“Except that we’ll have another chance. A new life.” He looked down at her. “And Steven will live on in our memories.”

“It’s not fair.” She hugged the uniform to her chest.

“Can you live with this? What we’re doing?”

She sat silently for a moment as if considering his question. The question that had plagued them for the past six months. Even as they pressed ahead with the planning, with getting the documents in order, with building their new life, their new identities, the question hung out there on the horizon. A horizon whose sharp edge dropped into an abyss. A horizon that rapidly approached. Could they do this? Could they really leave everything and everyone behind?

She sighed. “I’ll have to.”

“We’ll both have to.”

D. P. Lyle, MD is the Macavity Award winning and Edgar® Award nominated author of many non-fiction books (MURDER & MAYHEM; FORENSICS FOR DUMMIES; FORENSICS & FICTION; MORE FORENSICS & FICTION; HOWDUNNIT: FORENSICS; and ABA FUNDAMENTALS: UNDERSTANDING FORENSIC SCIENCE) as well as numerous works of fiction, including the Samantha Cody thriller series (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND and DOUBLE BLIND); the Dub Walker Thriller series (STRESS FRACTURE; HOT LIGHTS, COLD STEEL, and RUN TO GROUND); and the Royal Pains media tie-in novels (ROYAL PAINS: FIRST, DO NO HARM and ROYAL PAINS: SICK RICH). His essay on Jules Verne’s THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND appears in THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS and his short story “Even Steven” in the ITW anthology THRILLER 3: LOVE IS MURDER.

He has worked with many novelists and with the writers of popular television shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, 1-800-Missing, The Glades, and Pretty Little Liars.

He is a practicing Cardiologist in Orange County, California.



Carey says: Doug, congratulations on your new release and welcome back to Kiss and Thrill! We’re glad to have you anytime! Now I’d like to open things up for questions or comments. Remember, DP Lyle has a copy of RUN TO GROUND for one lucky commenter! 


 Mary Roya wins a free copy of  SPIDER’S DANCE!

Mary: please click on the Contact Us tab and let us know if you prefer a paperback or digital copy.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by on Tuesday to leave comments and questions, and to all those who linked our blog to Facebook and Twitter!

We really appreciate your enthusiasm!

K&T’s Carey Baldwin hosts 2 best-selling guest authors next week! Please join us for:

TUESDAY, August 14th: D.P. Lyle

THURSDAY, August 16th: Cindy Gerard

WILLIAM SIMON: There ARE No Secrets…

 "Until the screaming started, it was just another Monday morning….
 I’d come in early to review the weekend network traffic logs. I did that, sometimes, when the place was quiet and before the workweek began.
 I hung up my suit jacket, closed the door, and settled in with the stack of printouts.
 As I read the first page, I took out my cufflinks and put them in a trouser pocket, rolling up my sleeves until the air conditioner kicked in. In a silent protest against ‘business casual’, I kept my tie knotted, but unbuttoned my vest. Besides, I wanted to see how long it would take someone to notice the abstract-looking pattern on my tie was really Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner." SPIDER'S DANCE
[This is] a remarkably entertaining story, due mainly to the protagonist’s sense of humor. There are laugh-out-loud moments throughout, and these do not take away from the mystery or suspense. Unique characters, an original hero (we don’t get that too often), and an up to the minute topical plot carries SPIDER’S DANCE to the bank.
Raymond Benson, author of THE BLACK STILETTO, and THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK AND WHITE, six James Bond continuation novels, and the Spike Berringer Rock ‘n Roll P.I. series.

Meet William Simon…good friend, great author and honest-to-goodness Renaissance Man. Like his novel’s hero, Nicholas White wearing a cartoon tie, William strolls around with a silver-handled, black walking cane. Not because he needs it, but because it’s his own quirky statement to the world. (Don’t tell him it also makes him look incredibly dashing and gives him a nostalgic, noir presence.)

Both William and Nicholas White would have blended in perfectly in the circa ’50’s jazz, black-and-white movies, Frank Sinatra period. Instead, they were rudely dropped into the modern, high-tech, corporate intrigue of this era…and have adapted masterfully. Check this out:

 What's your day-job, William? 

I am the owner and lead investigator for an agency that specializes in computer forensics and electronic evidence exclusively.  I've been doing this since 2002, and it has led to some.... shall we say 'interesting' experiences.

(That's right, dear reader, he's a PI who can take a carefully deleted, broken, burned up hard drive and still uncover its secrets. Formidable? Cool? Uh...yeah.)

 Where do you get your ideas of espionage and intrigue?(she asks knowingly.) 🙂

I think it was Dean Koonz who once compared a writer's mind to a bubbling cauldron of stuff, and sometimes an idea floats to the top. It's all material, as writers we just need to learn how to use it.

What inspired your contribution(SPIDER'S TANGO)to the fabulous LOVE IS MURDER 3 anthology?

 I’ve worked as a computer forensic investigator since 2002, and some of the cases have been less than pleasant. 

The original draft of ‘Tango’, submitted for THRILLER 2, was much more serious, grimmer and, in some sections, brutal.  That didn’t make the final cut for the theme the publisher was aiming for. 

The day came a couple of years after that when submissions were opened for THRILLER 3, asking for stories of romantic suspense. 

In one of those coincidences that a writer would get nailed for – but happens all the time in Real Life – Turner Classic Movies had been running a marathon of Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn movies.  Which led to my digging out the DVD’s of “Remington Steele” and “Moonlighting,” both old favorites. 

After days of watching and appreciating clever and witty banter between the sexes, I re-wrote ‘Tango’ to fall more into that category.  I was stunned to learn it had been accepted for the anthology, and am very proud to be included in such stellar company.  I’m an unabashed fan of many of the authors in this, so it’s extra-special to be in their company.

Besides belonging to International Thriller Writers, you're an active member of two Houston RWA groups. What's a guy like you doing in romance groups like that? 🙂

I joined Northwest Houston RWA way back when (pre-Y2k!) because it was the closest writers' group I could find.  One of the things that struck me immediately was that 'romance' as a description applies to almost every book out there, and the one thing about both chapters is even though I write more in a mystery/thriller vein, everyone opened their arms and their hearts to all writers who came through the door!

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a semi-sequel to Spider's Dance, involving Michaela O'Brien's brother, Ian McAllister. He left the family, adopted his grandfather's last name and works throughout Europe. Let's just say nothing is what it seems.

In addition to that I'm developing a novel set in 1959 Las Vegas, with a casino manager and an investigator for the NDI (Nevada Division of Investigation)following the trail of a mysterious billionaire.

If you were not a writer/PI what career would you choose?

Federal Law Enforcement; it was the family business so to speak. I was the Black Sheep of the family for a while when I chose the corporate world instead.

Gushy fan question: Describe your favorite meal.

Italian restaurants get my attention. We live in Texas so, of course, Mexican cuisine is a favorite. A fine steak is always a good thing, and a perfect cheeseburger gets priority attention. Given a choice, though, Italian always wins. 

Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions, William. You're a guy who likes his privacy, so we really appreciate this!

Additional praise for SPIDER'S DANCE:

“I absolutely loved the witty, elegant thriller, SPIDER’S DANCE. Chock-full of fascinating characters, SPIDER’S DANCE thrusts the reader into the high stakes world of Big Oil—and an even bigger cover-up. In the aftermath of a devastating environmental disaster, our eminently reliable narrator, Nicholas White, carries us through this suspenseful tale with a combination of fearlessness and panache. Nicholas is a man you can trust, written by an author who has been there. Throw in a sunken World War II submarine and a high-stakes international scam of harrowing proportions, and you’ve got a corker!” —J. Carson Black, Best-selling Author of ICON and THE SHOP.

(William Simon also publishes under the pseudonym: Will Graham.)

For more information on William:


Got a question or comment for William? He’ll be stopping by today to answer them all with his usual dry wit!






Congratulations, Emily,


How to Dance with a Duke

AND  How to Romance a Rake

Please click on Contact Us and let us know if you prefer digital or paperback.

Thank you to everyone who commented on Manda’s new release last week, and to those who shared our link on Facebook and Twitter. We appreciate your enthusiasm for our Kiss and Thrill author and friend!

TOMORROW: We interview WILL SIMON, forensic computer PI, author of several thriller novels and a story in the Love is Murder 3 anthology.

If his plots are even remotely based on personal experiences he should be assigned a triple-digit aka…like: Will Simon, 008.

Don’t miss this interview!

How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins

This week at Kiss and Thrill we are excited to celebrate the release of HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE by our own Manda Collins!

How to Romance a Rake

You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom–unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…

What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense–and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” ladies he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence–and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret–and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms…


This book is so yummy we are certain you will love the blend of regency ballrooms with thrilling mystery, but don’t take our word for it, this is what reviewers have to say:

“Collins’ second installment of the Ugly Duckling trilogy is both a lovely, sensitive romance and a taut thriller.”RT Book Reviews

“This beautifully penned story is packed with mystery, passion, humor, warmth, surprising plot twists, clever dialogue, secrets and romance as it compassionately addresses the issues facing those who have suffered physical and/or emotional distress.” – Romance Junkies


We are so excited about Manda’s release we are giving away books!

Manda Collins

Leave a comment about historical romances with a mystery/suspense subplot for a chance to win a print or ebook copy of Manda’s books.  We’ll leave the comments open until 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, August 5th, and announce the winner on Monday, August 6th.  One winner will win both HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE and HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE. If you’d rather not leave a comment, but are on Twitter then tweet “#HowtoRomanceaRake” and include @KissandThrill in the tweet and you will be entered in a second drawing.  One randomly selected winner will receive HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE.

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